It’s been about two months since I started this weekly feature about some of the best local food spots in Northern Nevada. It started as a focus mainly on takeout due to the times, but at its core is a focus on highlighting some of the best food you can find in our area.
And starting Wednesday, it will be a great time to get out and try or revisit some restaurants in the area with the inaugural “Reno Restaurant Week." Local food blogger Cheree Boteler of Hungry In Reno has brought together 59 participating restaurants from Reno to Gardnerville and everywhere in between.
“It was one of those things where we needed something to celebrate, needed something to look forward to and events keep getting cancelled and there’s a good reason for that,” Boteler said. “But we really need to celebrate our food and drink establishments.
“So now here we are 59 establishments later. I really wanted to get to 30, so I’m really excited there’s some great menus and some great specials.”
Boteler said the idea was hatched a few months ago when a friend suggested she take on the project to a fill a void that was previously held by Reno Bites Week, which ended in 2018 . Initially, she was reluctant.
“I was like, 'No, I’m not doing that,'" she said with a laugh. “But then I started thinking about it and talking to some of the restaurants and really asking them if this was something important to them, and they all said, 'Yes, they would be excited to do it.'"
Boteler decided she wanted to model the event after larger cities that hold restaurant weeks, where it’s not event based but instead is about visiting individual establishments, which can include takeout and delivery.
“That actually served us well because of COVID,” she said. “There will be some special times that are only limited for this event. There are some discounts. It’s very eclectic just like our food and drink establishments here in Reno. We have a big mix with breakfast, lunch, cocktails, prix fix dinners.”
The range of participating restaurants goes from legacy restaurants like Coney Island Bar in Sparks, to newer restaurants like Land Ocean in south Reno or fast casual with Teriyaki Madness. Establishments like Ferino and Verdi Distilleries will offer special cocktails.
“You can get out and see something new," she said.
Boteler started her Hungry In Reno blog initially as a way to keep track of the food she eats and to share with others. Over time that evolved into a passion for sharing the stories of restaurants owners and chefs. She hopes the Reno Restaurant Week experience will help foster new relationships between restaurants and their customers.
“I’m a native Nevadan, and I feel very comfortable here,” she said. “I feel comfortable going up and talking to the owner, talking to the waiters and chefs, but most people don’t feel that way.
“I hope that every person connects with one chef or owner of one of these restaurants in some way. I think that breeds loyalty, and I think that breeds an environment of honest feedback that allows restaurants to be better. It allows us to have genuine conversations and to really connect, which is really important, especially nowadays.”
More information on Reno Restaurant Week, including participating restaurants, can be found at the Hungry In Reno website. One hundred percent of net proceeds will go to three charities: Reno Ice, Step2 and Veterans Guest House. Reno Restaurant Week runs from June 17-24.
Nevada Sports Net's executive producer Alex Margulies will feature a local restaurant once a week in his "Takeout Tuesday" feature. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter at @marguliespxp.